Matt Scifres (Not Half Bad)
SPB: What do you think of cassettes?
Scifres: Cassettes (often called “tapes” by young people, these days) are really cool because they’re kind of eternally rooted in DIY. Pressing records makes exactly zero sense for smaller bands. Yeah, they’re cool, but they’re ridiculously expensive, take forever to press and are a general pain in the ass. Making tapes, on the other hand, is stupid easy, because all you need is a tape player. Well, all you need is a tape player with a record button and some tapes. Some folks would argue that Punk/DIY/Whatever is at its purest when it’s cheap and made by the people trying to make you spend five bucks on it. A lot of the time, tapes are going to be the only thing on a merch table that meets that criteria and that’s kind of cool. I’ve only copied a couple tapes in my life and neither of them were for bands I was in, so throw my credentials out the window, but it’s pretty remarkable that in an age where most music comes from bandcamp or some streaming site, that a physical format can be alive and well based on a niche community doing the same things it’s been doing since forever. I’m not a purist. No, you don’t have to Do It Yourself. CDs are about the same price, sell for more and they take care of all the dirty bits at the plant, but I can’t help but be charmed when I’m buying merch and someone in the band says “Yeah, we made this tape/shirt/whatever.” I’ll take that tape. Here’s my money, dude. Unless you’ve got a record, then I’ll take the record.